Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical regulators of immune responses. Under noninflammatory conditions, several human DC subsets have been identified. Little is known, however, about the human DC compartment under inflammatory conditions. Here, we characterize a DC population found in human inflammatory fluids that displayed a phenotype distinct from macrophages from the same fluids and from steady-state lymphoid organ and blood DCs. Transcriptome analysis showed that they correspond to a distinct DC subset and share gene signatures with in vitro monocyte-derived DCs. Moreover, human inflammatory DCs, but not inflammatory macrophages, stimulated autologous memory CD4(+) T cells to produce interleukin-17 and induce T helper 17 (Th17) cell differentiation from naive CD4(+) T cells through the selective secretion of Th17 cell-polarizing cytokines. We conclude that inflammatory DCs represent a distinct human DC subset and propose that they are derived from monocytes and are involved in the induction and maintenance of Th17 cell responses.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.